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Yuri Gutsatz

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Cuir de Russie Notes

Top: Lemon, aldehydes, lime, petitgrain Middle: Violet, violet leaf, cedar, styrax, ylang ylang Base: Leather, cade, vetiver, patchouli, oakmoss, labdanum, sandalwood

The inspiration behind Cuir de Russie

1977: Cuir de Russie captures a long-held childhood recollection for perfumer Yuri Gutsatz. It was inspired by the fond memory of his father’s leather boots and strap back in St. Petersburg before Yuri had to flee the country as a child never to see his father again. Cuir de Russie became his talisman and his signature scent, as it still is for his son, Michel. This legendary leather was used for the shoes of Diaghilev’s ballet troupe. Many perfume houses have their own version of Russian Leather, but none quite like that of Le Jardin Retrouvé, with its authentic Russian roots.

Cuir de Russie has a soft, warm, sparkling violet and peppery opening.  It feels like it dances on the skin with its warmth, yet cool embrace.  There’s so much movement to the perfume as it whirls and twirls to the delight of my nose.

THE SCENTED HOUND PERFUME BLOG

When Le Jardin Retrouvé was revived in 2016, Michel Gutsatz and his wife Clara knew that Cuir de Russie had to be a part of the collection. This was a perfume that was very personal to Yuri: from young Russian boy to world class perfumer, it encapsulates the story of his life more than any other fragrance that he made.

Cuir de Russie returns

Since 2016, Cuir de Russie has become a firm customer favourite, enjoying rave reviews from around the world. Praised by men and woman alike, this exceptional eau de parfum allows gentle violets to merge with leather, juniper wood, and the warmth of cinnamon. When Le Jardin Retrouvé introduced a candle range in 2018, Cuir de Russie was selected as one of the quartet of fragrances. Customer demand would accept nothing less!

The intensely personal and nostalgic origins of Cuir de Russie, coupled with the timeless appeal of a Russian leather fragrance, made it an invaluable addition to the Le Jardin Retrouvé collection. It has since become the Le Jardin Retrouvé flagship fragrance and a bestseller, cementing Yuri’s status as a master of his craft.

 It’s a breathtaking fragrance. You can smell quality and love in this. It’s a fantastic old-school leather with a twist thanks to the juniper instead of birch. I get a bit of spice from the cinnamon and there are floral and green notes as well that remind you of a scented leather glove or boot. This is one that you want a bottle of especially if you appreciate history and French perfumery.

DOUGLAS G, VERIFIED BUYER

Clara Feder’s inspired text on Cuir de Russie: Ballets Russes, Paris, circa 1924

“The opera hall is packed. Diaghilev is presenting his Ballets Russes.  Flamboyant Parisians and you are seated in the front row. Wide-eyed, you watch Nijinsky and his soft leather boots. He leaps, he spins, he fills the stage with the bewitching scent of ylang-ylang, violet, and cinnamon enveloping a harmony of cade wood and styrax. You wish that this moment could last forever…”

Text and above image by Clara Feder

The masterpiece of Le Jardin Retrouvé’s rereleased collection without any doubt whatsoever is Cuir de Russie…In a stroke of genius it is driven by bluntness and earthiness, pulled down and given a breadth I see in more contemporary suede leathers, giving a tremendous worn-in effect. Combining this with violet flower adds an earthy puff of powder over the body of the composition, reinforced through cinnamon and soft resins.

LIAMSARDEA, OLFACTICS.NET

Rose Trocadéro Notes

Top: Rose essence, blackcurrant, green notes Middle: Rose absolute, geranium, clove Base: honey,Musk

The early years of Rose Trocadéro

1976: Rose Trocadéro was a fragrance that had personal connotations for Yuri Gutsatz. He was inspired by the fragrances women wore in the 1920s when he was just a boy, and those precious emotions translated into a classic eau de parfum that became the signature scent of his wife and muse, Arlette. Originally named Rose Thé, it was launched the year after Yuri established the world’s first niche perfume house and featured in many popular magazines. Today, the fragrance is the same and has captured the hearts of a new generation who seek the classic French haute perfumery methods at which Yuri excelled.

In Rose Trocadéro I have found the comforting smell of my happy memories. The roses from this perfume are bright pink, with dewy petals and bees flying around them. This perfume is in no way mischievous, as some rose-centered perfume maybe, but it is pure and joyful, like the smile of a child.

Adelinne07, fragrantica member

A t the revival of Le Jardin Retrouvé in 2016, Michel Gutsatz and his wife Clara knew instinctively that no fragrance collection was complete without a flagship rose. Rose Trocadéro brought its own style of French classicism into the twenty-first century.

Rose Trocadéro coming back to life

Since 2016, The eau de parfum is generating a new fan base among perfume lovers who seek a touch of Parisian elegance, just like the women of the 1920s who left such vivid impressions on a future perfumer from St Petersburg. Arlette Gutsatz was never without a bottle.

M Michel and Clara had to choose just seven fragrances to bring back to life from among hundreds of Yuri’s meticulously recorded formulas. Instinctively, they knew the carefully curated collection would need a classic rose. What better fragrance than Rose Thé, the scent Arlette Gutsatz wore and loved?

Rose Trocadéro is all about the rose from start to finish, lovely roses, soft yet bright, like the rosy clouds of a perfect sunrise; vibrant but with a luminescence. It isn’t an old-fashioned powdery rose, nor is it a big flashy rose; it’s the ultimate feminine rose, tender and intimate in its beauty, almost suede-like in its plushness.

AARON POTTERMAN FOR CAFLEUREBON

Clara Feder’s inspired text on Rose Trocadéro: the Trocadéro Gardens

The sun is shining on the Trocadéro Garden – it is a blessing in Paris, even at the end of May. Behind you, the Eiffel Tower, before you, the Chaillot Palace, looking so modern. Suddenly, a woman approaches. She is carrying a huge bouquet of roses and heads towards the Seine with firm strides. When she brushes against you, you shiver with pleasure under the waves of rose so absolute that you but barely notice the trail of blackcurrant bud, lavender, and musk.

Text and above image by Clara Feder

The roses are gradually enveloped in musk, rich but not thick, and every time I thought I was wearing the most classic rose-musk perfume, Rose Trocadéro reminded me that rather than just that, it is a character, almost a person in the ethereal body of the scent. Enchanting.

MIRISNA PERFUME BLOG

Citron Boboli Notes:

Top: Lemon, Lime, Orange, Galbanum Middle: Cinnamon, Clove, Black pepper, Geranium Base: Vanilla, Musk

The Early Years of Citron Boboli

Citron Boboli was created by Yuri Gutsatz at his home in Cour Jasmin, Paris and was originally named Citron Poivré. It was created in 1977: a year that saw culture and modern life blend in new ways. Baryshnikov brought ballet to the television, The Georges Pompidou Centre was opened and Apple launched its first computer. Amongst this blend of old and new, Citron Poivré was born.

Citron Boboli is an energizing eau de parfum with notes of citrus and warm spices: an original and comforting blend. It will transport you into Yuri’s footsteps, when he lived in India and discovered the richness of Indian aromas and plants. Clove, pepper and lemon will transport you between the spices of Asia and the citrus groves of Italy.

In this warmer weather, it’s a real joy to wear. It’s refreshing and “fizzy”. However, with the spiciness, I think this could be a citrus for cool weather as well.”

-Eaumg blog

Citron Boboli is Born Again

In 2016, Yuri’s son Michel, along with his wife, the artist and writer Clara Feder, had the difficult task of selecting just seven fragrances from Yuri’s vast and meticulously kept archives. The chorus of approval from perfume lovers is proof that Citron Boboli deserved its place upon the stage once more, bringing a 1970s fragrance to a new and appreciative Twenty First century audience.

Citron Boboli makes you want always more. Even after rising to the highest point, albeit tired, I just want to get down and start climbing again. Gorgeous perfume!

Cassiano, Fragrantica member

After visiting the Palazzo Pitti, you blithely make your way to the heights of the Boboli Gardens. The view of Florence is stunning, but a grotto on your right draws you with its freshness. Just at the entrance, a statue is decked with beautiful lemons. Are they real? Are they virtual? Why can you smell the fragrance of Italian lemon, petitgrain, bitter orange and galbanum? And that hint of black pepper and cloves, where does it come from?

Inspiration: Boboli Garden, Florence, Italy. Words and pictures by Clara Feder. Top photo of vintage Citron Boboli bottle by cheeky24.exblog.jp

Finding a scent that is both fresh and spicy, suitable for both winter and summer and for both sexes isn´t that easy. But Le Jardin Retrouvé’s Citron Poivré manages to combine all of that in one perfume

Rebella, Fragrantica member

Jasmin Majorelle Notes

Top: Coriander, Lemon, Sage Middle: Jasmine, Ylang ylang, Neroli Base: Iris, White Musk

The early years of Jasmin Majorelle

1981: Jasmin Majorelle was born in a year where romance ruled the world. Royal wedding fever flourished as Charles and Diana named the date and fashion was floaty and feminine, taking its lead from the future Princess of Wales. Jasmin Majorelle was created by Yuri Gutsatz in 1981 and was simply called Jasmin.

This is the way real French perfume should be, made with loving care and pride.” – Krmarich, Fragrantica user

Appropriately, Yuri and his wife Arlette set up Le Jardin Retrouvé where they lived: in Cour Jasmin in Paris – surely the perfect address for a perfumer!
Le Jardin Retrouvé fragrances had a loyal and somewhat bohemian following among those who prized French Haute Parfumerie, including iconic actress Jane Birkin.

Jasmin Majorelle coming back to life

In 2016, Michel and his wife, the artist and writer Clara Feder, nurtured Le Jardin Retrouvé back to life, including a carefully curated selection of seven of Yuri’s fragrances . The response was so enthusiastic that they came up with an idea that had never been done before. They asked their online community to choose which of Yuri’s fragrances to bring back to life next. 

This jasmine is really well balanced and pleasant. It feels lush and natural, like I’m in a beautiful jasmine garden warmed by the sun. Such a gorgeous bright, green floral opening that settles into a more sensual jasmine and eventually morphs into a warm and sunny base.” –
Belinda EK, verified buyer

Michel and Clara had hundreds of Yuri’s meticulously recorded formulas and chose four to send out in a small discovery package of samples, labelled only with a coloured dot. As the votes came in, Jasmin Majorelle, or yellow dot as it was labelled, didn’t win, (that accolade went to Oriental Sans Souci ), however, such was the loyalty and affection stirred by Jasmin Majorelle that Michel and Clara could not resist asking their in -house perfumer, Maxence Moutte to recreate it from Yuri’s notes. A limited edition of 150 50ml bottles was produced, each signed and numbered, taking their place among just ten precious haute perfumery fragrances from Le Jardin Retrouvé.

The jasmine in here gives a more sensual effect rather than animalic and, with a final touch of sweetened sage and even a hint of heliotrope, shows that Yuri was at the top of his game.” – Stephan Matthews, blogger

Clara Feder’s inspired text on Jasmin Majorelle: Yves Saint Laurent

Is it him? you ask yourself, looking at the graceful figure that seems to float on the pool, beyond the fountains, in the blue of the renovated house. Your imagination, enhanced by the heat of the sun at its zenith, seems to perceive the man who once created here inspired worlds. But only a rare scent of jasmine, ylang-ylang, Italian lemon, coriander and iris, answers you and proceeds to disturb your senses. Pure joy illuminates your face.

Inspiration : Jardin Majorelle, Yves Saint Laurent & Pierre Bergé, Marrakech, Morocco. Words and pictures by Clara Feder

French in style, retro in feel, this quickly became a favorite jasmine of mine.” – Eaux Sillage, blogger

Forty-five years ago, in a Paris townhouse that was home to the Gutsatz family, Le Jardin Retrouvé was born, and with it, so was niche perfumery. History was made the day the family business was launched.

When Le Jardin Retrouvé was established on December 12th 1975, no perfumer had ever begun their own perfume house before and no perfumer was recognised by name, except for one or two.  All that changed when Yuri Gutsatz, perfumer, poet and perfume critic became the first to break ranks and go it alone.

The story of how Le Jardin Retrouvé came into being reads more like an epic family saga that spans generations, continents, and two World Wars.  This is a story that began with a small Jewish boy escaping Bolshevik Russia in 1924 and ends, happily, with his son and daughter in law heading up the Maison de parfum you all know, in modern-day Paris.

Clara and Michel outside Le Jardin Retrouvé. Photo credit: visitors Brendan and Pat

Yuri Gutsatz, the boy from St Petersburg, became an adult, and the adult became a perfumer. Back in 1975, the business was a family affair, just as it is now, with everyone helping. Yuri made the fragrances, his wife Arlette was designing and selling, and their three sons helped out where they could.

Yuri added several ancillary bath and beauty products to the line, many years before other brands followed suit.  As well as fragrances, there were incense, soaps, bath oils, candles, and even a popular oatmeal scrub. Le Jardin Retrouvé products were sold in Japan, Canada, USA, and Europe. Yuri was a respected figure in the industry and was a founding member and initiator of the world-famous Osmothèque, as well as being a vocal critic of the lack of recognition of perfumers. As recently as in 2020, Master perfumer and Head of Givaudan Perfumery School, Calice Becker, recalled Yuri’s major contribution in the first Perfumer-Creator Charter. In it, she renewed calls for perfumer’s names to be as well known as those of writers and composers.

Le Jardin Retrouvé products were featured in magazines around the world

Yuri Gutsatz passed away at his home in Paris at the age of 91 in 2005. He left behind his devoted wife and three sons. The business carried on with the help of Arlette and one of their sons, Denis, but on 12th December 2012, the very day the business had been launched 37 years ago, Arlette too passed away.

By 2015, the only surviving member of the Gutsatz family was Michel, a University Professor of Marketing who, along with his wife Clara, an artist and writer, faced a challenge. They could continue with their respective careers and watch Yuri’s work die out, or they could revive the business and keep his legacy alive.  To the delight of perfume fans, they chose the latter.

Today Michel and Clara head up a small team in a pretty Paris courtyard where Yuri’s fragrances are made exactly as he intended from his original hand-written formulas. Each one captures a little of his story. Cuir de Russie was Yuri’s memory of his father David, Rose Trocadero was Arlette’s favourite and Sandalwood Sacré is still made with sandalwood from the family he befriended in his Indian years.

Perfumer Maxence Moutte recreates Yuri’s timeless perfumes in our on-site lab and our customers enjoy classic French Haute Parfumerie once again. The late Arlette, a stylist and consultant, has her contribution recognised too. The tree in the Experience Room in the Paris flagship store has been created from her vintage textile collection, as are the little fabric pouches the Discovery Sets are presented in.

From France, Le Jardin Retrouvé fragrances are sold around the world and can be found in China and the USA, in the Paris Experience Store in Paris, and on the website. With tens of thousands of followers on Social Media, fans from many corners of the world, as well as influencers, have written passionately about the perfumes of Yuri Gutsatz. The Le Jardin Retrouvé fragrances have been featured in GQ France, ELLE, Vogue, Paris Select, Au Parfum, Nez, Glass Magazine, as well as on multi award-winning perfume website ÇaFleureBon, to name but a few.

Yuri, Arlette and Michel, from the Gutsatz family album

Yuri’s spiritual legacy is alive and well

In 2020, though Le Jardin Retrouvé adheres to tradition when it comes to making perfume, they have a few modern additions, such as a sustainable ethos with a focus on recycling, up-cycling, and reusing. This applies to packaging, refillable bottles, and reusable candle pots. They also have established a very strong online community with a co-creation approach and instant communication all over the world with perfume lovers old and new.

Today, the Osmothèque is a much-visited place for perfume pilgrims and lovers.

The niche fragrance industry is booming, and perfumers are now recognised and celebrated for their talent, and no longer hidden away. Who knows what would have happened without Yuri’s contribution?

And all because of a perfumer who came from St Petersburg.

Happy birthday Le Jardin Retrouvé and happy birthday to the niche perfumery movement!

Professor, academic, author, and of course, a lifelong fragrance lover, Michel Gutsatz is at the heart of what we do. Carrying on his father’s work, and his name, without Michel (and Clara!), the perfumes you enjoy today might still be handwritten formulas in an archive, away from the light of day. Michel is a living witness to a childhood experienced by few. Growing up as the son of a master perfumer in a Paris townhouse with a lab upstairs is not a common experience. We couldn’t wait to uncover his scent memories and his vision for the fragrance industry. He took time out of his hectic day (trust us, we know!) to answer our nosy questions.

What question do you get asked most often? 

My my…. Funnily enough, as I have made most of my career in the university, it is “Could you give me some advice for my son/daughter? What degree should they go for?”

When it comes to Le Jardin Retrouvé it is: “Did you reformulate Yuri’s original formulas?” and my answer is No. It seems reformulation has been done widely, even for some classics, and customers are increasingly aware of it. We have decided from the start in 2016 not to reformulate: Yuri’s formulas are beautiful and timeless. They do not need to be adapted to supposedly evolving tastes. This allows us to cater both to Western more mature customers and to Chinese millennials who both love these classic fragrances and are not into sweet scents for instance.


What’s your first scent memory? 

Have you ever eaten fresh walnuts just off the tree? It is a marvelous feeling: getting your hands dark brown, eating the delicious walnuts, and smelling their extraordinary scent. That was me as a tiny boy in a small village just outside Paris where my parents rented a house devoid of water and electricity and where I discovered the extraordinary smells of nature, always linked for me with food: apples, pears, walnuts, green peas, tomatoes, fresh mint…

What was the first fragrance you bought?

Unfortunately (for perfume stores!) I have never bought a fragrance for myself. I always have been using my father’s Le Jardin Retrouvé fragrances, and among them, my favourite has always been Cuir de Russie, the most sentimental of all his creations. It was created as an homage to his own father David: during the Bolshevik Revolution, his father, son of a successful publisher, to save his bourgeois family, had enrolled in the Red Army. Yuri remembered when his father was coming home in the evening in his uniform, taking him into his arms, and when, cuddling against him (he was 3 years old), he pressed his nose against the leather strap. A first scent memory. Cuir de Russie….

What does fragrance mean to you?

Fragrance has always been one of my privileged links to my father and his art. He was a true poet and creator, and the most intimate words we exchanged mostly concerned his passion for perfume. His desire for perfumers to be recognized as true creators and his humble attitude when saying, “I am an artisan and never would compare to true artists like Michelangelo or Bach.” As he once wrote, “The perfumer has no message to convey. All he can do is create a moment of beauty.”

Fragrance has the same meaning for me: it is a “fleeting moment of pleasure,” BUT one that is linked to our deepest memories. Somehow, even if transient, this forgotten memory is there, and smelling a scent, a fragrance can revive it and bring it gushing back. Is there anything more beautiful, more emotional?

What do you think the fragrance industry needs in the future?  

I will again start with what my father Yuri wrote in 1966: “Perfumers used to be craftsmen. The present-day perfumer is a technician who must act to meet the requirements of his time. He has to find an almost immediate answer to the problems submitted by salespeople, by marketing advisers, by export promotion specialists. He is no longer the master of his time or his inspiration. Always in a hurry, always sacrificing to the wishes of the public, after having sacrificed to the dictates of cost, efficiency, planning, and given due consideration to all the problems involved in launching a perfumery product on the market.”

Nothing much has changed in 2020. Except that new perfume brands (so-called ‘niche’ brands, a word I truly do not like, but that is another debate) have come to market resurrecting, in a way, the craftsman. I say ‘in a way’ because most fragrances created today in the premium or prestige category are cost-controlled: the former CEO of a perfume company (“Maison de composition”) told me recently that their briefs averaged 90€/kg of concentrate. At Le Jardin Retrouvé, following Yuri’s precepts, they cost from 150€ to 450€ per kilo…  Why cut fragrance costs that represent but a portion of the final price? Cutting costs (if necessary) can be done elsewhere. For instance, in the packaging that all customers throw away once the bottle is bought!

At Le Jardin Retrouvé, we try to think ahead, and we offer a No Box option: why increase waste when our human actions endanger the planet? We also anticipate that the move to clean beauty – already significant in cosmetics – will become a fragrance driver. We are working on all our formulas and, for instance, are moving to organic alcohol denatured in a natural way. The fragrance industry still has many revolutions to come!

Further reading

You can read more about the Gutsatz family here. Michel’s book, Luxury Retail and Digital Management is available for purchase here with a foreword by Cyrille Vigneron CEO of Cartier.

Michel Gutsatz was in conversation with Samantha Scriven.

Did you know that Yuri was the nose behind Miss Lentheric eau de toilette? The fragrance was launched at Glyndebourne in England and Yuri, as the perfumer, was of course invited. On this occasion, he had to leave his beloved Arlette at home in Paris, although they never enjoyed being parted. Miss Lentheric is now sadly discontinued but was a popular perfume for several years after its launch. You can still find it on eBay if you’re lucky, as it has become a collector’s item, like many of Yuri’s fragrances, including PM for Mary Quant and Chromatics for Estee Lauder.

1942 proved to be the most devastating year of Yuri Gutsatz’s life. Having signed up for the Foreign Legion, Yuri stayed in Marseille after a year of service. As a Russian Jew, it was unsafe for him to return to occupied Paris. Sadly, his mother Alvina and his grandparents were trapped by the German occupation and unable to flee. In July of 1942 Alvina’s letters to Yuri stopped and he was later to discover that she and his grand-mother Gueni had been victims of the Vel d’Hiv roundup and taken to Auschwitz where they were not heard from again. Meanwhile, David Gutsatz died the same year in Leningrad, most likely due to the famine and disease during the siege which saw a million persons lose their lives.

On Yuri’s return to Paris in 1945, he found himself alone in the world. His grief and loneliness are unimaginable, but a light shone through the darkness when he met a young woman named Arlette, whom he remained in love with until his dying day. But that’s another story…

The photograph above is from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and shows Jews in occupied Paris before the purge.